Study Guide

Reservoir Dogs Madness

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MR. PINK: I mean, everybody panics. Everybody. Things get tense. It's human nature, you panic. I don't care what your name is. You can't help it. F***, man, you panic on the inside, in your head, you know? You give yourself a couple of seconds. You get ahold of the situation. You deal with it. What you don't do is start shooting up the place and start killing people.

MR. WHITE: No. What you're supposed to do is act like a f***ing professional. A psychopath ain't a professional. Can't work with a psychopath. You don't know what those sick assholes are going to do next. I mean, Jesus Christ, how old do you think that black girl was, twenty? Maybe twenty-one?

Our first taste of Blonde's madness is this description. When he shows up later we start to wonder if White was really being fair with the whole psychopath thing…until, well, you know. Pink obviously has the stress-management routine down pat, so he can calmly decide who and when to shoot. White calls Blonde a psychopath, but what he really means is he's sadistic and out of control. Sadism is a whole new level of violence, because you enjoy it. The others only do it if it's absolutely necessary.

MR. PINK: I got the diamonds.

MR. WHITE: That's my boy. Where?

MR. PINK: I stashed 'em. Look, if you want to come with me, let's go get them right now, right this second man, 'cause I think staying here, man, we should have our f***ing heads examined.

If you think about it, returning to the meeting spot when the whole thing was obviously set up is pretty crazy. When the heist was originally planned, everything was controlled and well thought out. All the guys were cool about it, no problems, laughing and joking. Once things fell apart, everyone's true nature started to emerge. Notice that Pink is nervous about being caught, but not guilty about what he's done. Psychopaths usually get anxious only when cornered.

MR. WHITE: F*** you, maniac. It's your f***in' fault we're in this trouble!

MR. BLONDE: What's this guy's problem?

MR. WHITE: What's my problem? Yeah, I got a f***ing problem. I got a big f***ing
problem! A trigger-happy madman almost gets me shot!

MR. BLONDE: What the f*** are you talking about?

MR. WHITE: That f***ing shooting spree. In the store, remember?

MR. BLONDE: Ah, f*** 'em. They set off the alarm. They deserve what they got.

Mr. Blonde's psychopathy is on epic display here. But maybe more. He doesn't even seemed tuned in to the fact he did anything wrong and doesn't even know what Blonde's talking about.

[Mr. Blonde slashes Marvin's face, cuts off his ear, drenches him with gasoline, and almost sets him ablaze, all while doin' a jig to "Stuck in the Middle with You".]

This is the film's climax of crazy; Blonde has really gone off the deep end. The bouncy song in the background heightens the horror of the violence. Blonde has no problem rocking out to the music while torturing Marvin. What does it mean to be able to do both those things at once? He doesn't even seem all that angry, which makes him appear even more demented. Most people could understand (not condone) killing someone in a rage, but this is just different and sadistic.

COP 1: There goes our boy.

COP 2: I swear, the guy has to have rocks in his head the size of Gibraltar to work undercover.
COP 1: You want one of these?

COP 2: Yeah. Give me the bear claw.

It's easy to call the criminals crazy, but Orange might be the craziest of them all. The cops tailing Orange aren't marveling over his courage; they're berating him for being stupid or reckless enough to work undercover. It's dangerous work and they'd much rather be eating donuts. Do you question Orange's judgment in getting involved in this operation? He didn't seem to think it would be a suicide mission.

EDDIE: Have you lost your f***ing mind?

MR. WHITE: Joe, you're making a terrible mistake; I'm not gonna let you make it.

MR. PINK: Come on, guys. Nobody wants this. We're supposed to be f***ing professionals.

EDDIE: All right, look, it's been quite a long time, a lot of jobs. There's no need for this, man. Let's just put our guns down, and let's settle this with a f***ing conversation.

MR. WHITE: Joe, if you kill that man, you die next. I repeat: if you kill that man, you die next.

EDDIE: Larry, we have been friends, and you respect my dad and I respect you, but I will put f***ing bullets right through your heart. You put that f***ing gun down - now.

MR. WHITE: Goddamn you, Joe. Don't make me do this.

EDDIE: Larry, stop pointing that f***ing gun at my dad!

This discussion starts as the epitome of logic and reason. Eddie and Pink are looking at a crazy situation pretty rationally and trying desperately to rein everyone in. But there's that mask of sanity. When push comes to shove, these guys are messed up. They'll shoot a friend if the situation calls for it. This situation apparently calls for it. In one second, everyone's shot. It's a very disorienting experience for the viewer. We begin to question our own sanity. Did we just see what we thought we saw?

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